Almost all invited heads of state were absent from the African Union's fundraiser here for the drought-ravaged Horn of Africa, despite the bloc having pushed back the event by three weeks in order to get more high level attendance.
Only host Meles Zenawi, AU chairman and Equitorial Guinea President, Obiang Nguema Mbasogo and the President of worst-hit Somalia, Sheikh Sharif Ahmed, attended the Thursday event at the UN's compound in Addis Ababa.
The Ugandan embassy here had also indicated that President Yoweri Museveni would attend the event but he was also a no-show. Rwanda sent it prime minister, Bernard Makuza while most other countries were represented by their ambassadors.
Mr Museveni is however expected for Friday's AU Libyan crisis meeting which would bring together 15 heads of state meeting of the bloc's Peace and Security Council, the organ responsible for effecting decisions agreed on by the organisation.
Already, $1.4 billion of the $2.4 billion that the UN estimates is needed to help hunger victims in the horn of Africa region has already been pledged.
The AU, which has already donated $500m from its own budget, hopes to raise at least $60 million from African countries in addition to pledges from non-member countries.
The balance would be sourced from India and the rest from the African Development Bank, it said.
An estimated 12.5 million people need urgent food aid mainly in Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya.
So far, Algeria has pledged $10 million while a Kenyan kitty has so far raised about $6.7 million. Oil-rich Gabon contributed $2.5 million, Mauritius has pledged $167,000 while South Africa through a live SABC television event raised $2.5 million.
South Africa and Nigeria were Thursday expected to contribute the largest amount. Turkey has also announced it will donate $1 million while the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation has pledged to raise $350 million.
China recently promised an extra $55 million in addition to an earlier pledge of $14 million.
The fund raising campaign under the motto "One voice-one Africa" is the first ever of its type in the AU's history.
The bloc has also launched a media campaign to raise awareness on the issue, while defending its slow reaction to the crisis by blaming a poor logistical position for its limited response.